Professionally finished windows are critical to the overall look of a house. The windows are the eyes of the house; the household looks out through them and they are usually the first feature to draw the visitors' gaze.
Types of wooden window - what are the challenges?
One of the most challenging areas to get right, windows are one of the most problematic when wrong. As always, preparation is key, especially with wooden frames.
When prepping casement windows that open on hinges, the most challenging ones are usually the small windows at the top, with spaces that are hard to clean, strip and decorate, so be prepared to take a little extra time when doing these areas as it is imperative to ensure a clean surface. Often around the hinge area, dirt will build up and can be tricky to remove, be prepared to put some real prep time in.
Traditional sash windows in period buildings look great, but the sash cord area, where both window sections slide up and can be tricky to decorate without also painting the cord. A good solution is to cover cords with cling film or tape to ensure they are well covered and protected. You also need to allow the sections to fully dry before you slide the window up or down to tackle the remaining areas, otherwise you can spread and scrape the paint that you have just laid down.
Sash windows are also prone to weather damage and draughts, as the windows are sometimes fitted loosely to enable movement, particularly in older houses. This can be overcome with draught strips, however friction through movement will mean that regular attention may be required.
Pivoting windows are much easier to treat, although here again care must be taken to ensure that painting doesn't interfere with the mechanism in any way or be covered in paint, which will crack and flake with movement. With bay and bow windows, there are multiple glass panes, some of which can be decorative, requiring special treatment and care to ensure the glass is well protected.
Tips for preparing wooden frames
Prepping windows matters, because the paint applied to wooden windows is part of the weatherproofing of the home. Rotting, leaking frames let in wind and water and careful preparation will uncover any potential issues with the wood, that can be dealt with before painting begins.
Many wooden windows can have decorative mouldings on the frames, adding to their appeal but meaning extra care is required. Badly painted mouldings stand out and can greatly reduce their aesthetic appeal. There are brushes designed for such jobs, such as bristle or synthetic sash brushes with long tips.
You can view our range of Prestige Sash Brushes.
Start by removing any old paint. Take care if using a blow torch or heat gun: these can be used effectively on the frames (being careful not to scorch he wood), but keep them well away from the glass. Any rotten wood should be replaced and any gaps in the putty around the panes sealed up again. Minor areas of wood damage may be able to be repaired with a suitable filler. Use coarse sandpaper for a final rub-down to remove any paint flakes from previous coats.
The right tools
Before treating with wood preservative or a primer (in preparation for the top coats) make sure glass panes are protected. Taping the glass next to the wood, or applying wet strips of paper are easy ways to do this. Paper offers mobility as you can slide the strips around for the best fit. Liquid tape which can be applied and removed after painting is an efficient option, but it needs experience, a good eye and a steady hand for a professional application.
Professional window painting requires more than one type of brush and it pays to invest in the best. A good sash brush, plus specialist slant cut or angled brush will ensure a great quality finish.
View our range of Perfection brushes for windows and sash brushes.
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